Sunday, October 16, 2016

All About Reading in Action

We are a big fan of All About Reading around here.  We are on level 33 of Level 1.  My favorite part is that you can make each days lesson quick, easy and productive.  I have a kindergartner and a 2nd grader and we just can't sit still for an hour to work on reading.  While we are at the table we do some of the word cards, fluency practice sheets or reading games and then later we sit down on the couch for some reading, either me reading to them or them reading to me.

Here was our time at the table with All About Reading mixed with some handwriting practice and zoology 2 by Apologia.

The first thing I had Peter do was the duck game.  We are currently working on words with the ending of ck. So a duck game goes along perfectly.  There were big ducks and baby ducks and the goal was to match the big and the little duck based on the words on the back.  When you found a matching pair you would put the pair in the pond.
My boys have always been better at finding matching beginning sounds but rhymes have matching end sounds.  With a little bit of help he was able to figure it out.

 Next it was Lachlan's turn.  Adam wanted to help him by grabbing a couple and smashing them.  He is so so helpful.  Even still, Lachlan kept his cool and worked through it.
While Lachlan was finishing the duck game Peter was on the other side of the table doing some writing practice.  Having them both at the table at the same table is very convenient.  It has it's downsides because they can each get distracted with what the other one is doing or if they are both working on the same thing they can get answers from each other.  All in all, it is the best format for us right now.
After Lachlan finished up with the duck game from All About Reading, I had him finish writing in his Swimming Creatures of the 5th day Zoology 2 Junior Notebooking Journal.  The week before he had drawn a picture of a lobster and then we were suppose to write a sentence.  We looked up what kind of aquatic mobility a lobster would fall into and decided to write "Lobsters are benthic animals."  This means that they scurry, crawl, hop etc. across the bottom of the water.
 I wrote it out on a sheet of paper for him to copy.
From there I had Lachlan read the word cards from All About Reading.  They were all of the cards behind the "review" divider.  These word cards have been perfect for Lachlan.  He gets overwhelmed with too many words in one place, so one word on each card is very helpful.  He is also really motivated to "master" these words.  I have no idea why that word is so motivating for him, but it is.  Where Lachlan struggles is with fluency, he decodes every word, even if he knows it.  So when I told him to "master" a word he had to sound it out in his head and just say the word, he just took right off.  Word after word, quickly and easily.  It was just the motivation he needed.
On this day he was getting a bit squirmy and got up to put a box over his head.  He did his best to read all of the word cards through the hole in the box.  Eventually I explained to him that it would be easier to read the words with both eyes, so this is what I got, the box still on but lifted up.
After this time together at the table I always try to read with them and now I am really trying to have them actually read from a book, even a short little reader, if reading a story from the All About Reading books is not part of the days assignment.

So that's a glimpse into a bit of our day.  We covered writing, science and reading and got a lot checked off our list.  My favorite part of All About Reading are the bite size pieces.  On their Facebook page and their blog they recommend only spending about 20 minutes on the lesson and then another 20 later just reading together.  This is easy to accomplish in one day with young boys and it feels like they are making big leaps in their reading abilities.

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